SELECTMEN NEWS 5 Things That Happened At Last Weeks Meeting

first_imgShare this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedWHOA! Apartment Complex, 7 Retail Stores & Bank Proposed At Woburn St. & Lowell St. IntersectionIn “Government”SELECTMEN NOTEBOOK: 6 Things That Happened At This Month’s Selectmen’s MeetingIn “Government”SELECTMEN NOTEBOOK: 10 Things That Happened At Last Week’s MeetingIn “Government” WILMINGTON, MA — Below are 5 things that happened at last week’s Wilmington Board of Selectmen Meeting:#1) NEW AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS: Selectmen authorized a regulatory agreement for three affordable units at Spruce Farm, the new 55-and-over development built on Andover Street. The units will be deed restricted and affordable in perpetuity. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development will monitor the affordable units.#2) SNOW FORT FEST: Selectmen unanimously approved the request of Wilmington Library Director Tina Stewart for the library to use the Swain Green for a “Snow Fort Fest” program on Tuesday, February 19, 2019, from 2pm to 3:30pm.#3) TRAININGS FOR TOWN BOARDS & COMMITTEES: Wilmington’s new Town Counsel – KP Law – offers the town two free trainings annually per its contract. The town has selected 3-hour trainings on the Open Meeting Law and the Public Records Law. Members of town boards and committees, as well as any town staff members who work with them, will be invited to each training once dates and times are set.#4) PUBLIC RECORDS REQUEST: Wilmington resident Rob Fasulo made a formal public records request to the Town Clerk’s Office regarding the standstill agreement for the Olin site and Executive Session minutes surrounding it. Hull said the Town would respond to the request by the deadline. He did note, however, that the Executive Session minutes will not be provided until Selectmen approve them to be released.#5) WILMINGTON GROUP HOMES MAY GET UPGRADES: Vinfen Corporation owns at least two group homes in Wilmington — 6 Fairmeadow Road and 55 Houghton Road.  The company is seeking approval to issue debt through the MassDevelopment to acquire property, renovate existing property, purchase technology hardware and software, pay for soft costs for new projects and make improvements to their various properties, including those in Wilmington. Wilmington was offered the opportunity to provide input at a public hearing, but did not find out about the hearing until after the fact.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.last_img read more

Senators propose bill requiring warrants to search devices at the border

first_imgA Customs and Border Protection agent watching surveillance footage. James Martin/CNET If you’re taking a trip in to or out of the US, border agents currently have free rein to search through your digital devices. Unlike police, agents don’t need a warrant to look through your phones, laptops and other electronics. Two US senators are hoping to change that with a bipartisan bill. Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, and Sen. Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, on Wednesday introduced the Protecting Data at the Border Act, which would require agents to obtain a warrant before they can search Americans’ devices at the border. The number of electronic searches at the border has spiked in the last four years. In 2018, the Department of Homeland Security conducted more than 33,000 searches on devices, compared with 4,764 searches in 2015. Customs and Border Protection declined to comment.”The border is quickly becoming a rights-free zone for Americans who travel. The government shouldn’t be able to review your whole digital life simply because you went on vacation, or had to travel for work,” Wyden said in a statement. The bill is also being introduced in the House of Representatives by a group of Democrats. Wyden and Paul introduced the same bill in 2017. Since then, warrantless device searches at the border increased by 10 percent.Law enforcement agencies have been taking advantage of the warrantless searches at the border, using the information discovered in unrelated court cases, the American Civil Liberties Union discovered through its related lawsuit against the DHS. Until a court makes a decision, the agency is still allowed to conduct these searches without a warrant. “Respecting civil liberties and our Constitution actually strengthens our national security, and Americans should not be forced to surrender their rights or privacy at the border,” Paul said. “Our bill will put an end to these intrusive government searches and uphold the fundamental protections of the Fourth Amendment.”  Border wall dividing homes and habitat Politics Security 1 Now playing: Watch this: 2:09 Share your voice Comment Tagslast_img read more

TJAM Scholarship Masquerade Gala

first_imgGet out your dancing shoes and wear your masks. It’s time to raise money for scholarships for students attending our great Mississippi HBCUs. On April 8, from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. at Martin’s Crosswinds, 7400 Greenway Center Drive Greenbelt, Md. 20770, a fundraiser will be held to provide scholarships to students from four Mississippi HBCUs: Tougaloo College, Jackson State University, Alcorn State University and Mississippi Valley State University. For more information go to gwdcjsualum.wixsite.com/tjam2017.last_img read more

Tonight AFROs First Edition with Sean Yoes Thursday June 22

first_imgListen at WEAA Live Stream: http://amber.streamguys.com.4020/live.m3uAdam Jackson, co-founder of Leaders of a Beautiful Struggle sits in as guest host, and continues a series of conversations about violence and homicide in Baltimore, with a focus on solutions leading up to the, “Baltimore Ceasefire,” August 4-6.These stories and much more on AFRO’s First Edition with Sean Yoes, Monday through Friday, 5-7 p.m.last_img

Study shows microplastics in biowaste wind up in organic compost and fertilizers

first_img Explore further © 2018 Phys.org More information: Organic fertilizer as a vehicle for the entry of microplastic into the environment, Science Advances  04 Apr 2018: Vol. 4, no. 4, eaap8060, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aap8060AbstractThe contamination of the environment with microplastic, defined as particles smaller than 5 mm, has emerged as a global challenge because it may pose risks to biota and public health. Current research focuses predominantly on aquatic systems, whereas comparatively little is known regarding the sources, pathways, and possible accumulation of plastic particles in terrestrial ecosystems. We investigated the potential of organic fertilizers from biowaste fermentation and composting as an entry path for microplastic particles into the environment. Particles were classified by size and identified by attenuated total reflection-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. All fertilizer samples from plants converting biowaste contained plastic particles, but amounts differed significantly with substrate pretreatment, plant, and waste (for example, household versus commerce) type. In contrast, digestates from agricultural energy crop digesters tested for comparison contained only isolated particles, if any. Among the most abundant synthetic polymers observed were those used for common consumer products. Our results indicate that depending on pretreatment, organic fertilizers from biowaste fermentation and composting, as applied in agriculture and gardening worldwide, are a neglected source of microplastic in the environment. Flash floods found to send massive amount of microplastics from rivers to the sea Credit: CC0 Public Domain Plastic particles in fertilizers from organic waste: (A) polystyrene particle. (B and C) polyethylene fragments. (D) polyamide particle. (E) PET fibre. (F) polystyrene fragment. Credit: Sarah Piehl Microplastics have been in the news a lot of late, due mainly to their presence in water, but they may be causing unknown problems on land, as well. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if microplastic bits that make their way into uneaten food or farmer plant waste could also make their way into fertilizers that are made using organic waste. To find out, they tested samples from a wide variety of commercially available organic fertilizers.Organic fertilizer is made the old-fashioned way—by letting microorganisms break down organic material. It is made via aerobic and anaerobic processes. Aerobic composting plants create fertilizer by mixing organic matter with soil and allowing microbes to break it down into material suitable for feeding to plants. An anaerobic biowaste digester, on the other hand, is a facility where organic material is thrown into a sealed vat where it is “digested” to produce both fertilizer and biogas.The testing by the researchers was done on fertilizers made in facilities in Germany, which is unique, because Germany is a country that is serious about dealing with organic waste such as table scraps or food that has gone bad in the fridge. Thus, in addition to paper bins, most Germans also have bins for disposing of such materials. Those materials are sent to processing plants where it is cleaned and combed before conversion into fertilizer. Such facilities also collect plant waste from farms.center_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In their study, the researchers tested samples from both aerobic and anaerobic facilities, and also from a control facility that used only plant waste from a farm They found some amount of microplastics in all of the samples they tested except those from the control farm. They further found that the amount of microplastics depended on the process used at a given plant and that there tended to be more in the fertilizer from the aerobic facilities. They suggest microplastics wind up in biowaste due to their presence in foods, and also from being collected or stored in plastic containers. A team of researchers at the University of Bayreuth in Germany has found that microplastics that make their way into biowaste can show up in organic composts and fertilizers. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their results when testing organic composts and fertilizers from several processing plants. Citation: Study shows microplastics in biowaste wind up in organic compost and fertilizers (2018, April 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-microplastics-biowaste-compost-fertilizers.html Journal information: Science Advanceslast_img read more

DeepMind Artificial Intelligence can spot over 50 sightthreatening eye diseases with expert

first_imgDeepMind Health division has achieved a major milestone by developing an artificial intelligence system that can detect over 50 sight-threatening eye diseases with the accuracy of an expert doctor. This system can quickly interpret eye scans and correctly recommend how patients should be referred for treatment. It is the result of a collaboration with Moorfields Eye Hospital; the partnership was announced in 2016 to jointly address some of the current eye conditions. How Artificial Intelligence beats current OCT scanners Currently, eyecare doctors use optical coherence tomography (OCT) scans to help diagnose eye conditions. OCT scans are often hard to read and require time to be interpreted by experts. The time required can cause long delays between scan and treatment, which can be troublesome if someone needs urgent care. Deepmind’s AI system can automatically detect the features of eye diseases within seconds. It can also prioritize patients by recommending whether they should be referred for treatment urgently. System architecture The system uses an easily interpretable representation sandwiched between two different neural networks. The first neural network, known as the segmentation network, analyses the OCT scan and provides a map of the different types of eye tissue and the features of the disease it observes. The second network, known as the classification network, analyses the map to present eyecare professionals with diagnoses and a referral recommendation. The system expresses the referral recommendation as a percentage, allowing clinicians to assess the system’s confidence. AI-powered dataset DeepMind has also developed one of the best AI-ready databases for eye research in the world. The original dataset held by Moorfields was suitable for clinical use, but not for machine learning research. The improved database is a non-commercial public asset owned by Moorfield. It is currently being used by hospital researchers for nine separate studies into a wide range of conditions. DeepMind’s initial research is yet to turn into a usable product and then undergo rigorous clinical trials and regulatory approval before being used in practice. Once validated for general use, the system would be used for free across all 30 of Moorfields’ UK hospitals and community clinics, for an initial period of five years. You can read more about the announcement on the DeepMind Health blog. You can also read the paper on Nature Medicine. Read Next Reinforcement learning optimizes brain cancer treatment to improve patient quality of life. AI beats Chinese doctors in a tumor diagnosis competition. 23andMe shares 5mn client genetic data with GSK for drug target discoverylast_img read more

Flying on Argentinas first budget airline will be cheaper than taking the

first_imgTags: Argentina << Previous PostNext Post >> Thursday, March 16, 2017 BUENOS AIRES — Argentina is getting its own budget airline, with seats priced cheaper than those on local buses.According to Lonely Planet, FlyBondi, the country’s first budget airline, is expected to launch domestic flights starting in September. Currently, state-run Aerolineas Argentina dominates the country’s aviation market, and up until now, high operating costs and state-mandated minimum prices have made domestic air travel an impossible venture.The Argentine government says plans for the new airline have been made to boost its slumping economy. Last year, President Mauricio Macri said Argentina would open up 135 new airline routes and that foreign tourists would be refunded a 21% value-added tax on hotel costs.However, there’s still one major hurdle to overcome before celebrations begin: Argentina requires its pilots to be Argentines, which could lead to difficulties in staffing.But if successfully launched, FlyBondi will undoubtedly make it easier to travel around the country. It will offer seats onboard leased Boeing 737s that cost less than lie-flat bed prices on bus journeys that span the same distance. For example, a one-way bus ticket with a lie-flat bed between Buenos Aires and Mendoza – a journey that takes 16 hours – costs about US$100. Alternatively, a seat onboard FlyBondi will start at approximately $78 each way for the two-hour flight. Flying on Argentina’s first budget airline will be cheaper than taking the buscenter_img Share Posted by Travelweek Group last_img read more

Rep Miller named to House Appropriations Committee

first_img Lawmaker will chair State Police subcommittee Categories: Miller News,News 16Jan Rep. Miller named to House Appropriations Committeecenter_img Newly elected state Rep. Aaron Miller was named by Speaker Kevin Cotter to serve on the House Appropriations Committee, where he will chair the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State Police and serve on four additional subcommittees.In addition to the chairmanship of the State Police subcommittee, Miller will serve as vice chair on the Subcommittee on the Department of Environmental Quality and will be a member of the subcommittees on the Department of Transportation, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and Joint Capital Outlay.Miller, R-Sturgis, said he is honored to be working on committees that set state spending levels for departments that provide vital services to Michigan families.“I am thrilled to be working on several subcommittees that involve important issues dealing directly within the district,” Miller said. “I look forward to working toward sensible solutions for not only the state of Michigan but more importantly for the 93,000 citizens of St. Joseph and Cass counties within the district.  During the next few months, I will be a local representative voice in the budget process and I look for good things to come.”The House Appropriations Committee establishes the distribution of the state’s budget for each state department and agency. There are 18 House appropriations subcommittees that assist in delegating the annual budget based on subject area.#####last_img read more

Interviewed by Louis James Editor International

first_img(Interviewed by Louis James, Editor, International Speculator)L: So Doug, you’re off to FreedomFest 2012 shortly, where people will be able to hear your latest thoughts on many subjects. Maybe you can give us a sneak preview on whatever is uppermost on your mind today.Doug: FreedomFest should be especially outrageous, since I’ll be tag-teaming with my friend Jeff Berwick of the Dollar Vigilante for a featured lunch. I’m not sure exactly what topics we’re going to discuss, but I hope we aren’t prosecuted for breaking too many federal, state, and local statutes at one sitting.Anyway, lately I’ve been thinking about the EU’s rising tide of troubles. We talked about this last January, when I said it was coming, but it seems to me that at this point it’s rapidly coming to a head. A major financial and economic catastrophe in Europe is unavoidable. From there, it’s likely to spread out to the whole world.L: I fear you’re right, but the latest headlines have it that the EU bigwigs are taking measures to make it easier for Greece’s new pro-bailout government to honor its austerity obligations. Doesn’t that mean the EU has dodged the bullet for now?Doug: As far as I can tell, they’re doing absolutely nothing except print up more currency, in hope that will move the problem further into the future, when a deus ex machina device will magically appear.I haven’t seen any hard numbers published as to exactly what Greece has to cut to meet its EU-imposed austerity obligations, nor how that fits into Greek budgetary realities. But, as usual with popular reporting, the terms used are inaccurate, which makes clear thinking impossible. These idiots aren’t even capable of framing the problem, much less solving it.First of all, it’s not “Greece” we’re talking about, but the Greek government. It’s the Greek government that’s made the laws that got people used to pensions for retirement at age 55. It’s the Greek government that’s built up a giant and highly paid bureaucracy that just sits around when it’s not actively gumming up the economy. It’s the Greek government that’s saddled the country with onerous taxes and regulations that make most business more trouble than it’s worth. It’s the Greek government that borrowed billions that the citizens are arguably responsible for. It’s the Greek government that’s set the legal and moral tone for the pickle the place is in.Second, the term “austerity” is used very loosely by the talking heads on TV. It sounds bad, even though it just means living within one’s means… or, for Europeans, not too insanely above them. But who knows what’s actually included or excluded from what the EU leaders think of as austerity? Take the Greek pension funds, for example: exactly how are they funded? I’d expect that private companies make payments to a state fund, as Americans do via the Social Security program. I suspect there’s no money in the coffers; it’s all been frittered on high living and socialist boondoggles. Tough luck for pensioners. Maybe they can convince the Chinese to give them money to keep living high off the hog…L: Social Security. Now there’s a misnomer. No one I know my age or younger actually expects to ever get a penny of that money back.Doug: Yes, my generation, the Boomers, will have totally looted what little viability is left in it by the time you never get your check. Sorry, Lobo. It was our supposed “Greatest Generation,” however – who are mostly gone now – who really got a cushy ride. But the point at the moment is that just because the Greeks voted – basically to stay in the EU in hopes of economic benefits outweighing the pain of whatever the austerity requirements are – that doesn’t mean they’ll actually be able to deliver. Once the new half-measures begin to bite, I expect to see more angry mobs back out on the streets. These people have become so corrupt that they think the government is some kind of a magic cornucopia, when first and foremost it’s really just a vehicle for institutionalized theft.And it’s not just austerity, and it’s not just Greece, nor even Spain, which has formally asked for a bailout. All of these European economies are rigidly regulated: first, by their national governments; and then, even worse, by this extra layer of unbelievably oppressive regulation from Brussels. I understand there are some 30,000 people working for the EU, making new rules and regulations like an army of spiders, spinning their webs, sucking the life out of their victims. None of these rules are constructive. They’re a waste of time at best, and most are actively destructive – like for instance, the EU rules telling the French how to make cheese.I was reading in David Galland’s report from Portugal last Friday that the EU forced the Portuguese to destroy half of their fishing fleet. Not because there was anything bad, dangerous, or wrong with the boats, but because they were too good and the Portuguese were too successful as competitors; it’s life imitating Atlas Shrugged. He also said that most of the oranges grown in Portugal are either thrown in the trash or trucked to Spain, where they can’t be eaten but must be made into marmalade, which is then sent back to be sold to the Portuguese. Apparently about half of the chickens in Portugal are about to be executed – just killed, not eaten – because they were raised in conditions the EU doesn’t consider appropriate. The list goes on and on, and the madness is happening all over Europe.The proposed austerity measures will change absolutely nothing important; at best they’ll just lengthen the economic agony. Instead of austerity programs, cutting back marginally on the salaries of public employees and national pensions, all these hordes of Eurocrats should be summarily fired, and their agencies totally abolished. The markets should be liberated.And individuals should plan for their own retirements. They should behave like adults, not children who spend today with no thought for tomorrow, as state-sponsored retirement benefits encourage them to do.L: Excessive regulation and disincentives to production created by government intervention in the economy. Can you give us some examples of this happening and what the consequences are?Doug: The classic example is the Roman Empire after it passed through its time of troubles in the third century. After 50 years of utter chaos, constant crisis, and recurring civil wars, Diocletian gripped it in a stranglehold, regulating everything from top to bottom. I suppose, given a choice between chaotic violence and a police state, people will opt for the latter – as if there are no other alternatives. He instituted all manner of price controls and “people controls,” including forcing sons to take up their father’s occupations. The ultimate collapse of Rome and the success of the barbarian invasions wasn’t due to superior barbarian military technology or tactics, but Roman economic collapse. Romans were actually deserting the empire to live among the so-called “barbarians,” where they could both be free and prosperous. History is repeating itself.L: That’s pretty dramatic, Doug. You think Europe is in a similar death spiral now?Doug: Yes. Those governments are all bankrupt. But much more serious than financial bankruptcy is their total moral and intellectual bankruptcy. At this point the Europeans are so craven and degraded they deserve to be indentured servants of the Chinese, which they will be. The debt they are using to finance their bulging bureaucracies, bloated welfare rolls, giant pensions, and so forth is largely coming from the banks. But the banks are all bankrupt too, partly because they’ve lent so much capital to bankrupt governments. So you’ve got two sets of bankrupt institutions trading debt back and forth between themselves. It doesn’t help to say that it’s the PIIGS that are in the worst shape, because it’s the banks in the supposedly wealthier countries that own the PIIGS’s debt. They are all tied together.It’s much worse, on a global scale, because Europe is China’s largest trading partner. When the EU really goes into reverse and suffers a major economic collapse, the Chinese are going to lose their main customers – and end up owning a lot of chateaux. That also means the Chinese will stop buying the raw materials – commodities – they use to make what they sell to the Europeans. That will hammer the Australian, Brazilian, Canadian, and other resource-driven economies.And the problems with Japan are even worse, though somewhat different, than the ones in Europe. Chronically corrupt and now depopulating Russia is headed for a fall; its economy produces nothing but raw materials and weapons. The problem is truly global. The headlines keep pointing at Europe right now, but the EU is just the tip of the iceberg the global economy is aimed at.L: In this context, it’s not encouraging that the French have not only elected a socialist president, but a socialist parliament. I’d be fighting severe nausea right now if I were a French taxpayer.Doug: And France is not one of the PIIGS on the periphery, but one of the two big countries at the core of the EU. I don’t understand how anyone can conduct a profitable business in France today. It seems heroic to me, if anyone can do it, but it’s getting just about impossible. And now France is going to slide a couple standard deviations further to the left. If I were a Frenchman with any money, I would get my money and myself out of France – tomorrow morning.L: I read somewhere that Cameron in the UK announced that French people with money were welcome in the UK.Doug: I heard that too. But if I were a Brit, I’d also liquidate my assets and get out; there’s no reason to believe the situation is any better in Britain. It’s just not currently in the news. These governments are completely out of control, forces unto themselves, and they view their populations as milk cows. Governments all over the world are following Diocletian’s example.L: If it’s happening all over the world, what’s the point of packing up and leaving?Doug: Well, there really is almost no place you can run, no one place where it’s reasonably safe to be a citizen these days. We’re heading toward a time like in the book, Atlas Shrugged, when the productive people in society are just going to stop producing. Why should anyone work hard to create value when a substantial portion of that value will get diverted into fighting off regulators and other government goons, only to have half of what you do make seized to pay for those very same thugs?L: Are you telling all the Atlases out there that it’s time to shrug?Doug: I think so, on a moral basis. I’m sick and tired of supporting my oppressors. It makes me feel like dissipating my capital on high living, simply because that will deny it to the state. It’s perverse, how they’ve structured society with incentives to be a consumer, not a producer. Why save, when it’s likely your savings will be stolen?L: Well… I guess that explains why you’re building a house in a beautiful but rural corner of Argentina. You’re on strike, no longer wanting to be your brother’s financial keeper. But Argentina’s government is just as scary as any other.Doug: Yes, but that’s why I’m an Uruguayan resident, have my bank accounts in various jurisdictions other than Argentina – or the US, for that matter – and I’m also working on becoming a Paraguayan taxpayer.L: But Paraguay doesn’t have a personal income tax…Doug: Exactly. And this is my message to the Hank Reardens of the world: become a “permanent tourist.” There’s no such thing as a real tax haven anymore – even Swiss bank accounts, if you can get one, are not what they used to be. You ask what the point is of leaving when all governments look at their subjects as milk cows? Well, a tourist is an honored guest who spends money in the local economy; he’s welcome and largely left alone. No one place is perfect – certainly not Argentina – but if you distribute your life across various jurisdictions, none of them consider you to be their cow. I simply prefer Argentina as a place to spend most of my time. Other countries are to be used for different things for different reasons.L: So where’s the least-bad place to have your corporate office these days?Doug: I think you’ve got to look at Singapore. Hong Kong is still very good. Dubai offers some advantages in that part of the world. Other than that, you’ve got to go to a place where the government is small and incompetent.L: Hence your interest in Paraguay.Doug: Exactly. But that’s not a place I’d actually want to live; it’s a backwater, with little more than farms and a capital that’s like a small Midwestern city with colonial architecture in the center. The weather is unbearably hot during the summer. I also have to caution readers that the OECD is pressuring Paraguay to adopt a personal income tax – though none has yet been implemented, and it’s currently a good place to be a taxpayer.L: The US is still an economic powerhouse and a place where a lot of people make a lot of money…Doug: Yes, it’s shocking to me, though, how the US has gone downhill. In past decades, if anyone wanted to set up a business, the US would almost certainly have been the best place to do so. But it has become less and less so over the years. Now it’s just asking for trouble. But everything is relative. I’d advise anyone with capital to deploy it elsewhere, not in the US, because it has just become too dangerous, financially and morally. But if I had nothing, if I were a landless serf struggling to live in Nigeria or Burma or Venezuela, sure, I’d try to make it to the US. Bad as it’s getting, it’s vastly better than where they come from – and will likely be for years.The fact that there are some 50 million people relying on food stamps these days – about one in six US citizens gets money for food – just goes to show how bad things are getting. And worse, government agencies are trying to get more people on to these programs, instead of helping them to stand on their own two feet. According to a Wall Street Journal article I was reading the other day, Republicans and Democrats alike have blocked reform of the food stamp program, even minimal and sensible reforms like means testing. The program is projected to spend more than $700 billion over the next ten years.L: Gee, Doug: doom and gloom and dark despair. But that’s not a new tune for you. Let’s suppose that your analysis is essentially correct; what makes you think that the pot’s about to boil over? How can we know that this is not just more grumbling from a permabear?Doug: Well, it’s true: “inevitable” is not the same thing as “imminent.” When people see that something is inevitable – and I’m guilty of this mistake myself – they tend to believe those things are also imminent, even when that’s not so. But the inevitable is inevitable, and that means it must happen. We usually can’t predict exactly when – and such things often take far longer to arrive than we imagine they possibly can – but once things to start unravel, they tend to accelerate quickly. The crisis seems far off for a long period of time, and then suddenly it’s upon us.It’s much like the ground rush effect when you’re sky diving. When you first exit the plane, typically at around 7,500 feet for a 30-second free-fall, it seems like you could fall forever. That’s partly because it takes 5 or 10 seconds to reach terminal velocity and partly because of the way geometry plays with your visual perception. At around 2,500 feet, though, you can see the ride is coming to an end. By 2,000 feet, you don’t need to look at your altimeter to figure when to pull, because you’re feeling urgent ground rush. Europe is under 1,000 feet, and even if they do pull the ripcord, they’ll find there’s no chute… just a bunch of dirty laundry their economists packed as a joke. It’s pointless to talk about anything but a very, very hard landing. Unfortunately, when we’re talking about the economy, the analogy breaks down a bit. That’s because you actually don’t need a parachute to go sky diving. You only need one to go sky diving twice.L: [Laughs]Doug: Let me change the metaphor. Europe is in hot water. One of the things that has me thinking the water in the pot might hit its boiling point this summer is that people generally prefer to riot in the summer… for all kinds of reasons. Feeling ripped off by “the system” is a really big one. Take the bank runs in Greece – to the tune of a billion dollars a day. If I were a resident of any European country, I’d definitely run to the bank and get cash. Sure, it’s just paper, but that’s better than nothing if the bank fails and governments don’t bail it out quickly enough.Even the US has seen many bank failures since 2008, but the FDIC and the Fed always paper it over. And yet, more and more people are recognizing that the system rests on nothing more than confidence. More and more people are going to physical cash in their physical possession all over the world. Most people don’t have a lot of financial sophistication, but they read enough and see enough, and have enough sense to be scared. When that’s the case, they’d rather have more cash in their pockets or mattresses than they would normally. That’s because money left in banks can become suddenly inaccessible if there’s a problem with the banking system, or if the government declares a bank holiday, or if the government just takes it, alleging tax evasion or money “laundering”…Note to those living in the US: this can happen to you, too. I’d definitely recommend building up a stash of twenties and hundreds, enough for several months’ living expenses, in case banks suddenly don’t have cash on hand. Better yet, put it in gold and silver, because you never know what the banks will give you when push comes to shove – or if anyone will accept what the banks give you in exchange for goods and services you need … especially if Bernanke dumps too many hundred-dollar bills from helicopters. All these paper currencies are rapidly headed for their intrinsic values. And when they reach them, billions of people all over the world are going to feel very, very pissed off – and basically at the same time.During the last Argentine crisis, some people thought they were being smart, keeping their savings in dollars in banks. Well, the government declared a bank holiday, and when the banks opened, their dollars were converted to pesos – and devalued by about 75% to boot. Essentially the same thing happened in the US when Roosevelt devalued the dollar.L: So… the short version would be that what’s inevitable may or may not be that imminent, but on such matters, it’s better to be a year early than a day late?Doug: That’s exactly right. And I really do think we’re getting close to the edge of the precipice.You know, people can read this and just view it as entertainment, or dismiss it as just another opinion. But it’s like the old oak that was there for a hundred years and looked like it would last another hundred years, but fell suddenly in a storm. Only then did we see that it was hollow and had long been close to collapse. That’s where the world’s financial situation is: it’s rotten to the core because of fractional reserve banking and fiat currencies, and totally corrupt because of state intervention in the marketplace.L: I remember how we – people who understood market economics – all knew the Soviet Union had to collapse from its internal contradictions and economically self-destructive policies. But we didn’t know how long it could last, and sometimes it seemed like it would be forever. But then when it came unglued, it fell apart with breathtaking speed.Doug: Just so. But when the Soviet bloc collapsed, at least the West was there to help them out. Who’s going to bail out the West? A giant reset button will get pushed, with unpredictable results. Personally, I am buying more gold every month. I anticipate a genuine world-class and world-spanning crisis. And it wouldn’t just be financial and economic; everything will be in turmoil – society, the military, culture, education, art, science – everything. Really interesting times are coming up here. But on the bright side, I have a low threshold of boredom. I admit I’m something of both an adrenalin and an entertainment junkie.L: Right. But for those of us still working to amass the kind of capital it takes to be able to regard a global calamity as an adrenalin rush, it should be noted that this crisis will bring loads of opportunities to those who see it coming and prepare.Doug: Word to the wise. More on that in future conversations.L: And our newsletters, of course.Doug: Of course. The markets are going to be full of great speculations for the next few years. And, eventually, some great investments as well. I trust that by now our readers know the difference.Without fail, governmental meddling in the market creates economic dislocation ripe for exploitation. Get in on the right play ahead of the curve – like betting against Fannie Mae before the real estate market collapsed in 2008 or buying gold in the early 2000s – and you can make a fortune.The trick, of course, is to anticipate such moves before they happen. In hindsight, the action that precipitated the aforementioned opportunities – governmental incentives to banks to lend to those who couldn’t afford to buy homes (which led to the real estate collapse), and escalating sovereign debt worldwide (which helped spur the 21st-century gold rush) – is clear now.Equally clear to us is the fact that there are now many budding profit opportunities for speculators. One of the best is waiting to reward those who look beneath the surface of the gold market. Energy, technology, and foreign markets are also creating outsized opportunities for gains… but only for those who take the time to dig beneath mainstream economic news.It would be well worth your time to do so.last_img read more

More Gold Buying Tips Dont get hung up on pric

first_img More Gold Buying Tips: Don’t get hung up on price fluctuations. Gold prices are volatile in the short term. Thus, you should not get too hung up on these wide fluctuations. However, if you can stomach the short-term movements, or if your ability to purchase is limited, monitoring a couple technical indicators can help identify appropriate entry points for a position in gold. Understand why you are buying. Buying physical gold in an attempt to make a gain on short-term price fluctuations is not recommended as costs can make this an unprofitable venture. Rather, the acquisition of this traditional store of value is a substitute for the fiat currencies around the world – it is better viewed as an ultra-secure savings account that cannot be debased or stolen through fiat money printing. As we don’t believe gold is anywhere near it’s top, it’s a long-term investment and only to be sold if you need the cash. Set aside a fixed number of dollars for gold purchases each month. A very easy way to take advantage of the temporary dips in price is to set aside a fixed amount of dollars each month for gold buying. This habit, when paired with the basic indicators discussed above, give you the best opportunity to purchase gold at a favorable price. [One of the most convenient ways to purchase and store precious metals is through a SmartMetals account – a breakthrough new program developed by the Hard Assets Alliance that allows investors to buy gold, silver, platinum and palladium through a secure online portal and store domestically or, in the case of gold, internationally in London, Zurich or Melbourne. Download the free SmartMetals Action Kit for all the details.] One may ask why gold hasn’t made new highs in the past year. Looking back at the chart, we see that after the end of QE2, gold has traded sideways. However, dips below the 50-day average still represented opportunities to acquire more of the yellow metal. Now that we’ve got another round of quantitative easing, we expect gold to resume the pattern of temporarily dropping below the 50-day average and then breaking out to new highs afterward. Buying Indicator #2: USD Index Another indicator that gold is “on sale” is the USD Index. Gold and the USD Index have a strong inverse relationship, meaning that tops in the index represent a good time to buy gold. In this next chart, we’ve circled the tops in the USD Index and marked the subsequent rises in gold prices shortly thereafter. By the Hard Assets Alliance Team With the Fed’s announcement of QE3 and the world’s central banks jumping onto Uncle Ben’s helicopter, prospects for a rising gold price are rosy. But, what if you’re new to buying gold, have seen the price rise ever higher over the past few years, and are worried you’ve missed the best entry point? If you share our belief that money printing and subsequent currency devaluation will continue, then you need not worry. The long-term prospects for gold are very positive – making any entry point at current levels a good one. However, temporary dips in price can offer a golden opportunity to buy the metal at a “discount”. How can one identify these buy points? We’ll explore the answer to this question below. Buying Indicator #1: The 50-day Moving Average One of the most useful technical buying indicators is the 50-day moving average. Once gold’s price drops below the line, it often experiences a surge soon after, and, other than in a temporary sideways market, rarely returns to that original price point again. Some such opportunities are highlighted in the chart below.last_img read more

WTI

first_img WTI <$55.09 5 months 24 months, 4% extraction tax thereafter 5.0% 0.0% All Wells How Do You Make Money from the Evolving Shale Revolution? The current energy markets are volatile, but a speculator must use volatility to his own advantage to build positions in companies that have suffered as a result of the current market correction. I follow a very disciplined approach and use very advanced mathematics and technical knowledge to position myself in the best energy companies. If you’re looking for in-depth research, experience, and exposure to my vast network in the resource sector, then you may want to pay attention to what I’m doing. If you believe that in order to be successful in the resource sector, one must be a contrarian—as I do—now is the time to become engaged. Come see what I’m doing with my own money. You’ll get access to every Casey Energy Report newsletter I’ve written in the last decade. I reveal which companies will be best situated to make their shareholders money in the current depressed energy market. It’s all available right here. I can’t make the trade for you, but I can help you help yourself. I’m making big bets—are you ready to step up and join me? I plan on writing a weekly missive on whatever I find interesting in the resource world. I will also attempt to make this the one stop. K-Man’s Resource Financial Tip of the Week: Price per Flowing Barrel If you’re wondering why this portion is K-Man, it was my nickname back when I was a teacher. Though I left teaching years ago, some people still call me K-Man, including Casey Research’s Louis James. In the spirit of learning, and as a flashback to my old teaching days, this section will be called “K-Man’s Financial Tips.” Over decades of practice, valuation experts have derived industry specific multiples to determine the intrinsic value of companies. Investing is not easy and requires hard work and a lot of time. Thus, any tools to make things simpler is definitely welcome, and multiples are just that: tools to help in the process of buying and selling stocks. For example, social media stocks have been on everyone’s radar: companies with absolutely no earnings are raising billions upon billions of dollars from a more-than-eager investment community. However, traditional valuation methods, especially the price-to-earnings ratio, are thrown out the window, and investors must somehow quantify what is merely an idea. This is where the industry specific multiple comes in. The only thing that can be quantified in the case of Twitter, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc., are the users of the application. And as it turns out, you and I are worth roughly $100 each. So, if a new social media company is launched and 1,000 users sign-up, the company is worth $100,000 to the market. Let’s look at a real life example. According to their last financials, Twitter, who had a loss of $578 million in 2014, has 288 million users and market capitalization of approximately $34 billion. So, each user is currently being valued at $118. Your tweets about the weather and how long your coffee is taking at Starbucks are worth roughly the cost of Netflix for a year. Feeling used? The price per flowing barrel is just another multiple, but used in the valuation of oil and gas. It is calculated as: Russian Urals 54.51 The WTI price in January, February, and the first half of March 2015 have remained below $55.09, which means that if oil prices remain below $55.09 for the next 2½ months, we could see this tax incentive kick in as early as June 2015. $57.50> WTI >$55.09 1 month First 75,000 Barrels, $4.5 million revenue per well, for 18 months 5.0% 2.0% New Wells Western Canadian Select         38.17 Global Crude Prices $USD US oil production has increased even under a crumbling oil price. How? For one thing, lower production costs. As drilling and service companies are forced to undercut each other to compete for business, the cost of production per barrel decreases. Another and now very crucial element is the support from state governments. State Governments backing the US oil patch For every $1 spent on Texas’s oil and gas industry, $2 of additional business is generated in other industries, and for every $1 spent on North Dakota’s oil and gas industry, $1.60 of additional business is generated, according to both Texas’s and North Dakota’s own government websites. Texas and North Dakota are the largest oil producing states, and they are more than aware that their economies depend on oil production. Texas and North Dakota produce 3.5 and 1.2 million barrels per day of oil, respectively, which is over 50% of total US oil production. (To put things in perspective, one in every four drilling rigs on the planet is in Texas.) Thus, for their states to do well, it is essential for the oil and gas industry to continue to thrive. The way Texas and North Dakota have dealt with the issue of low oil prices is by providing oil and gas companies with tax incentives. The most effective tax incentive will come from North Dakota’s tax program on new and old oil wells. If oil drops below $55.09 for five consecutive months, all wells will be exempt for 24 months from paying a 6.5% extraction tax on oil produced. After the 24 months, if oil prices have not increased above $55.09 for a five-month period, the extraction tax will increase to 4%. However, if oil prices rise above $55.09 per barrel for five consecutive months, the extraction tax exemption will become inactive. Oman 55.90 Brent 55.55 What’s Next in the Energy Sector? In the past four months, I have personally invested more cash in speculations than I have in the last four years. Could I be wrong? You bet I could, but this is not my first downturn. I’ve seen this rodeo before. I also do not have many positions personally, nor does the Casey Energy Report portfolio. I follow a very disciplined approach, and my style isn’t for everyone. I’ll be the first to acknowledge that fact. If you’re looking for a newsletter that recommends a stock every month, I’m not your guy. I only recommend stocks that I’m willing to put my own money in. If you’re looking for in-depth research every month, experience, and exposure to my vast network in the resource sector, then you may want to pay attention. There’s blood in the streets in the energy sector right now—and I love it! If you believe that, as I do, to be successful in the resource sector, one must be a contrarian, now is the time to become engaged. So how can we profit from the blood in these markets? Take me up on my “Katusa Challenge.” You’ll get access to every Casey Energy Report newsletter I’ve written in the last decade, along with my current recommendations, with specific price and timing guidance. There’s no risk to you. If you don’t like the Casey Energy Report or don’t make any money over your first three months, just cancel within that time for a full, prompt refund, no questions asked. Even if you miss the three-month cutoff, cancel anytime for a prorated refund on the unused part of your subscription. As a subscriber, you’ll receive instant access to our current issue, which details how to protect yourself from falling oil prices, plus our current top recommendations in the oil patch. Do your portfolio a favor and have me on your side to increase your chances of success. I can’t make the trade for you, but I can help you help yourself. I’m making big bets—are you ready to step up and join me? Below are the US natural gas storage levels. Interesting metaphor (unconventional, as it’s unconventional technologies that will save the US E&P sector) I’m jabbing with here, but it’s an appropriate one, as the Russians have increased their oil production, as have the US and Saudi Arabia. And just like in boxing, it is important to not be caught standing still. Iran? Yes, Iran also might become an issue because of the potential increase of Iranian oil exports. The P5+1 countries have come to a framework agreement with Iran regarding the nuclear issue. Part of this agreement would lead to the sanctions against Iran being removed, including oil sanctions. Iran has the ability to increase production and the existing infrastructure to bring this oil to the international markets. All of this would increase the global supply of oil. Bearish for oil. This means as an investor, you have to be on your toes at all times, stick and move, as Ali would say. If you’re caught flatfooted or get hit on the chin, it could be lights out for your portfolio. Oil Prices around the World One of my favorite scenes in Rocky is where Rocky asks his manager, Mickey, who is in his corner, to cut open his right eye just before the 15th round. Apollo Creed had cut and bruised Rocky’s eye so badly that Rocky couldn’t see out of his right eye. Time will tell how the US oil patch will look by the time this battle with OPEC is over. Rocky is one of my favorite films of all time. Chuck Wepner is regarded as the “real life” Rocky, as it’s Chuck’s career that people most believe Stallone used to create Rocky. But I believe it was based on a hybrid of both Chuck Wepner’s and my favorite boxer “Mr.Canada,” George Chuvalo’s, careers. Chuvalo, like Rocky had very little time, exactly 17 days to prepare for the world title bout against Ali, and like Rocky, Chuvalo went the distance with Ali. Also, like Rocky, Chuvalo came from an ethnic background. Muhammad Ali, stated of Chuvalo, “He’s the toughest guy I ever fought,” and Chuvalo, whom many believe had one of hardest punches in boxing history, happens to be of Croatian descent. Even Stallone made a remark about Chuvalo, calling him, “My hero.” Chuvalo’s post-ring life has been a nightmare, with his first wife and a son both committing suicide, and two sons who died from drug overdoses. Trying to make the best of a horrible experience, Chuvalo has dedicated his life to trying to teach kids the dangers of drug abuse. Chuvalo, you’re a world champ in my books! West Texas Int. 50.42 Midland 50.09 Price per Barrel Period Sustained Period Enacted Production Tax Extraction Tax Well Types Bakken 46.39 Back in November I wrote why OPEC would not cut oil production. At the same time, I also stated that we would see US government tax breaks for certain US producers. It’s now official. Tax breaks are about to start. If the shale revolution is in a 12-round boxing match, then we are barely through the first few rounds. In the first round, OPEC came out swinging with haymakers as they declared war on US shale and said they would not cut production. Many US exploration and production (E&P) companies’ share prices took a beating as the price of WTI tumbled over 50%. Supported by the ropes and holding on for dear life, round one ended with the US E&Ps looking to their corner for help. And help has come. The oil patch has always tried to distance itself from all forms of government, but it is the government that is coming to their rescue. And because of the US government’s assistance, the US E&Ps are able to throw a couple of uppercuts back at OPEC. Why? Tax breaks, which have helped increase US oil production. OPEC took round one, but round two goes to the US E&P sector. Back to the oil patch. Should the government create tax incentives for the US E&Ps? Answer: They have no choice. But the governments will actually add to the problem and here is why. The state governments of Texas and North Dakota have additional legislative measures that will promote oil production through force. Under Texas and North Dakota oil well abandonment laws, any well that remains inactive and unproductive for more than a year must be plugged. North Dakota, in addition to plugging, the well site must be reclaimed to its original landscape. The reason this is particularly important to the current US shale oil industry is due to the increased amount of oil wells that have been drilled and left uncompleted in North Dakota and Texas. The costs of reclaiming certain wells is actually higher than the NPV of the well, thus the companies will continue to produce because it’s cheaper than reclaiming the well. The reason oil and gas companies are leaving wells uncompleted is to prolong their production until a higher oil price is realized. These companies are essentially storing oil in the ground in hopes that within a year, oil prices will appreciate. Large producers such as EOG Resources, Apache, Anadarko Petroleum, and Chesapeake have added over 3,000 US shale wells that remain uncompleted and unable to produce. I wrote about this in 2011, calling them “phantom wells” in the gas sector. The phrase being used today is “fracklog.” If oil prices remain low for the rest of 2015, it is likely that many of these wells will be forced into production or required by state regulations to be plugged and, for North Dakota wells, reclaimed. According to the North Dakota Industrial Commission, Department of Mineral Resources, there are 825 North Dakota wells that were drilled and uncompleted as of January 2015, compared to October when 650 were left uncompleted and 150 were left uncompleted in June 2014. If we just focus in on North Dakota production, by June 2015, oil producers will be forced to either plug and restore their well sites or bring on at least 37,500 barrels per day of additional production over the next two months. As October 2015 approaches, an additional 500  wells will be forced to either plug the wells and restore the land, or produce a minimum of 150,000 barrels of new oil production per day. Ding, Ding, Ding; Round Three. Who Will Take Round Three? Unfortunately for this fight, there will be no scantily clad models walking the ring between rounds. No ring girls in this fight. Just investors, speculators, traders, E&P’s, NOCs, and now governments. Round three is likely going to be a long and bloody round as both sides (OPEC and US E&Ps) begin to suffer from the previous rounds of the fight. The Saudis have publicly stated they have produced 350,000 more barrels per day than reported to OPEC, while also suggesting they could increase production further if there was demand. This is not a knockout punch but a definite body blow to the North American shale industry. The US tax incentives are not going away and will drive production higher into 2015 and early 2016. Furthermore, the backlog of thousands of wells (fracklog) that can be completed in a matter of days will force down any short-term increase in the price of WTI. Round three will extend throughout the majority of 2015 as OPEC and the United States circle each other, leaving everything in the ring. What about Russia? For all the Rocky fans, don’t worry, I didn’t forget about the greatest Russian boxer, Ivan Drago. In Rocky IV, Ivan Drago easily took down Apollo Creed. Rocky turned to unconventional training methods to take down Ivan Drago. WTI > $57.50 5 months N/A 5.0% 6.5% All Wells The incentive trigger for a price under $55.09, plus the existing tax incentive trigger for a price between $55.09 and $57.50, will reduce North Dakota oil-driven tax revenue by $100 million per month, provided oil stays below $55.09 per barrel for the entire 24-month period. Tax incentives in both Texas and North Dakota provide oil and gas companies with a saving grace of last resort. But just as oil companies can benefit from incentivized regulation from state governments, there are certain regulations that may hinder the profitability of oil and gas companies, while simultaneously leading to another unwarranted flood of US oil production. Mick, Cut me Syncrude 53.62 Condensate 51.83 North Dakota Tax Incentive Program Edmonton Par 47.36 If this multiple is higher than its peers, the company is trading at a premium, and if it’s lower, the company is trading at a discount. Now let’s use it in a real life example like we did with Twitter. In one of the most recent transactions in the oil patch, Whitecap Resources (WCP.TO) acquired Beaumont Energy, a private E&P, for $587.5 million. At time of acquisition, Beaumont had production of 5,100 barrels of oil equivalent per day, so Whitecap paid $115,196 per flowing barrel. Historically, companies operating in the same light-oil play sold for $100,000 per flowing barrel, so initially we can conclude Whitecap overpaid for Beaumont. This metric is easy to use, but we emphasize that it is just one tool to use in the valuation of an oil company. And it comes with several shortcomings. One is that the metric does not take into account the reserves of a company or the future growth from undeveloped fields. So, while it may look like Whitecap overpaid for Beaumont, we are not taking into account the 27.2 million barrels of 1P reserves Beaumont also comes with. Which is why the price per flowing barrel metric is often used in combination with the enterprise value to 1P Reserve ratio. It helps investors understand how well a company’s current production is supported by what is in the ground. Remember, these metrics will differ due to location and oil/gas mix, but it’s a great starting point if you have a group of similar companies. Interesting Resource Data Below is the data showing the current oil storage, capacity, and daily production. This past week was the first week of the year that had a production decrease. US crude oil production is at 9.386 million bopd, down 37,000 bopd from the week before. Hard Rock Data Here are the five-year storage and price decks for some of the more popular metals. I have put this info together for you so you can quickly see the price and LME inventory levels all in one place.last_img read more

This would be a terrible thing to say about most b

first_imgThis would be a terrible thing to say about most books but, in this case, it might actually be a compliment: I kept falling asleep reading Marina Benjamin’s Insomnia. I wasn’t so much bored as somehow soothed by her velvety ruminations on night wakefulness, which run on, unbroken by chapters, with lots of airy white space between paragraphs. Awash in the comfort of a kindred soul, I relaxed enough to be lulled into sleep. Did her Insomnia cure mine?Think how many hours are lost to night frets, which Benjamin ties to a “turbocharged … overactive brain” and I liken to a washing machine’s spin cycle. I know that my insomnia has increased since the 2016 election, and I don’t think I’m alone.Benjamin’s Insomnia follows Middlepause, her memoir about reaching 50, and indeed, insomnia often follows menopause, almost as reliably as Winter follows Fall. Her eloquent description of the inconsolability and frustration of finding oneself irremediably awake during the witching hours, “cannibalized by your own gnawing thoughts,” will certainly strike a familiar chord for many. She nails the “shotgun awakenings,” the sense of being “jet-lagged in your native time zone,” and the exasperation of being stuck chewing over all the day’s insignificant “crud,” “like waterboarding the mind with meaningless overflow, a smothering drip, drip, drip of surplus thought.”Even worse are the nocturnal worries: “In my bed, I flap and thrash like a grouper caught in the net, victim to an escalating anxiety,” she writes. “It is as if all the lights in my head had been lit at once, the whole engine coming to life, messages flying, dendrites flowering, synapses whipping snaps of electricity across my brain; and the brain itself, like some phosphorescent free-floating jellyfish of the deep, is luminescent, awake, alive.” She adds that, unable to find the off-button, “I pursue sleep so hard I become invigorated by the chase.”Benjamin’s book is more impressionistic than scientific: Don’t look here for an explanation of the chemistry or biology of nocturnal wakefulness. She pooh-poohs pharmaceutical sleep aids, and is also dismissive of a five-week course of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomniacs, which adds to her torment with its strictures about sleep hygiene and distressing, restrictive sleep diets. Meanwhile, her husband, whom she amusingly dubs “Zzz,” slumbers peacefully beside her, heightening her sense of isolation.Benjamin’s mind works like a wide-roving trawler that rakes an area repeatedly before moving on to adjacent territory. Among the live fish caught in her net: Greek mythology; Penelope weaving and unraveling Laertes’s shroud as she awaits Odysseus’ return; Sheherazade spinning nocturnal yarns to save her life; Nabokov’s dream diary; poet Charles Simic’s “The Congress of the Insomniacs”; Oliver Sacks’s Awakenings; Rene Magritte’s surreal paintings that combine day and night; and the Pre-Raphaelites Edward Burne-Jones’s and William Morris’s depictions of sleeping maidens.Her thoughts on some of these subjects are hit and miss — and sometimes soporific. But concerning Freud’s focus on the interplay between conscious and unconscious minds she writes amusingly, “It cheers me to note that because psychoanalysis works to excavate the brain’s nocturnal effusions and then drag them into the light, it is essentially an insomniac practice.” And her reflections on Robinson Crusoe lead to an unexpected discussion of slave labor and the dark side of capitalism and colonialism, in which she points out that what was being grown and imported were addictive stimulants: tobacco, coffee, sugar — “generators of mass insomnia.”Insomnia turns out to be somewhat of a celebration of sleeplessness as well as a lament. It is strongest at its most personal, and is filled with memorable images — including a Cree dream catcher that “resembled a giant dangly earring,” and Benjamin’s nocturnal canine companion’s “legs splayed like bagpipes” on the sofa beside her. Especially vivid is the “trail of evidence” she leaves behind on insomniac nights, which resembles “the scene of a crime. All that is lacking is the body shape outlined on the floor: the missing body, wakeful when it should be sleeping.”Benjamin’s book is more likely to elucidate than cure your insomnia, but it does offer a distracting brain-teaser for your next bout of sleeplessness: Try to come up with a collective noun for insomniacs. She toys with a flare, a fret, a brightness, before hitting on “a calculation of insomniacs.”I’m partial to a jitter. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

With US sales boom over carmakers enter belttightening mode

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further An exterior view of the GM plant in Lordstown, Ohio—one of five North American plants GM is shuttering as part of a cost-cutting plan Will more drivers opt for ridesharing and against owning their own vehicle? How many consumers will opt for an electric car once more vehicles hit the market at lower price points? When will autonomous driving arrive in a meaningful way? Auto executives have spoken glowingly of a future with emissions-free vehicles, smart transportation systems and cars that drive themselves. “No one has any idea what the next cycle is going to look like,” Colas said. “In this case, GM not only has to plan for normal cyclicality, but GM clearly feels it needs to plan for the next five to 10 years.”Consolidation ahead?GM plans to shutter seven plants worldwide, including five in North America that build sedans that have not been selling well in the United States. The company did not release an estimate of the total potential employment hit but some news reports have put it at 14,000 workers or more. GM Chief Executive Mary Barra characterized the move, intended to save an estimated $6 billion, as part of an effort “to be highly agile, resilient and profitable, while giving us the flexibility to invest in the future.”Many expect the GM downsizing to be followed by cuts at Ford, which has announced plans for an $11 billion restructuring.”We know there’s more to come,” said Michigan-based Chesbrough, alluding to Ford. On Monday, Ford said it expected the bulk of the costs connected to the reorganization to come outside of North America, but added that it expected a “headcount reduction” over time in global salaried staff.Ford is phasing out a series of cars such as the Focus, Fusion and Taurus, while steering funds to pickups, SUVs and other large models, as well as new technology investments.”These traditional sedans destroy value,” Ford Chief Executive James Hackett told analysts last month, adding that the company would release details about the reorganization “as soon as we can.”Both companies have announced ventures with other firms, with Ford unveiling strategic alliances with India’s Mahindra and Germany’s Volkswagen and the GM-led Cruise autonomous vehicle venture receiving $2.75 billion in funds from Honda as well as $2.25 billion from Japanese conglomerate Softbank.Building autonomous vehicles is expected to require billions of dollars in new investment. Analysts think the US auto giants could eventually be in the market for a deeper transaction with a non-US company, perhaps a full-scale merger.”The big issue is that this industry still employs a lot of people everywhere around the world and local governments don’t like to see automakers shed jobs,” Colas. “So it’s going to have to be a very stressful time in the industry before they go to governments and say, ‘Ok, we’ve got to do this.'” © 2018 AFP But in the interim, companies like General Motors—which on Monday unveiled major job cuts—face decidedly more mundane questions: How to respond to slowing US demand as higher interest rates bite into new car sales while more used vehicles are also entering the market?”It’s going to be a smaller market,” Cox Automotive economist Charlie Chesbrough said of GM and Ford, which is likewise expected to eliminate jobs and perhaps shutter factories.Both GM and Ford want to be major players in autonomous driving and other newer technologies, an objective that will demand billions of dollars in new investment and could ultimately lead to more industry consolidation, analysts say.”The pie is starting to shrink a little bit, or at least that’s their view and they’re trying to get themselves right-sized before things get much worse,” Chesbrough said.Cox Automotive projects new US car sales will slow to 16.6 million units in 2019 and 16.5 million units in 2020, a drop below the 17.0 million level that sales are expected to again eclipse in 2018.The forecast includes the effect of higher interest rates and the drag from a trove of leased cars manufactured during the boom period. But it does not assume an all-out trade war, which would further dent sales, Chesbrough said.’Nowhere to go but down’On Wednesday, US President Donald Trump on Twitter threatened new tariffs on car imports, amplifying his response against GM, whose job cuts affect the politically crucial states of Michigan and Ohio.Auto cycles typically end with a five or 10 percent drop, a relatively modest decline that automakers take as a signal “to get their production house in order,” said Nicholas Colas, co-founder of DataTrek Research.”You know that once you’re passed the peak, you have nowhere to go but down and that’s what scares auto executives,” said Colas, adding that auto sales could go as low as 13.5 million in a recession.Adding to the dilemma is uncertainty about the outlook for new car sales in the medium term given potential technological disruption. General Motors is cutting jobs and spending billions of dollars to become a player in autonomous vehicles, a pursuit that analysts think could ultimiately lead to industry consolidation Ford earnings drop on weak China sales Citation: With US sales boom over, carmakers enter belt-tightening mode (2018, November 29) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-sales-boom-carmakers-belt-tightening-mode.htmllast_img read more

Hotel management school focusses on entrepreneurship development

first_imgFebruary 15, 2019 SHARE COMMENT Published on Management Tools SHARE SHARE EMAIL The Manipal-based Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration has launched two ventures as part of entrepreneurship activities for its students. Two more ventures will be taken up soon.‘Welcomgroup Entrepreneurial Development Cell’ (WEDC), jointly established by the Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE) and ITC, has been set up with a vision to evolve as a centre for promotion of entrepreneurship in hospitality, tourism, culinary arts and nutrition in the country.New initiativesA MAHE statement said here that K Thirugnanasambantham, Principal of WGSHA, has taken up a few new initiatives for the students, in association with Fortune Inn Valley View.WEDC is planning to launch a gourmet store, food truck and a student-run restaurant and a bake shop to give the students hands-on experience. The initiative will help student start-ups to solve problems associated with launching new businesses. This initiative provides mentoring, technical services, and training, apart from space for product development.WEDC’s venture Classic Cafe enables students to understand restaurant management at an early stage on a real-time and hands-on basis. Students are entrusted with vital roles from marketing to menu planning, table layout, etc, apart from the kitchen aspect.‘Ministry Of Bakery’ is another venture, which is a shop run by students, that stocks a wide variety of pastries, cakes, cookies, savories etc.New ventureIt said that ‘Gourmet Store’ is the other upcoming venture of the college. By selling artisan breads, preserves, pickles, jams and sauces, the store will teach students how to highlight and yet preserve the best, seasonal local produce.A food truck will give students a look into fast-food and trendy cooking apart from the ordering, preparing and pricing aspects, it added. COMMENTS hotel and hospitalitylast_img read more

Malaysias ecommerce industry poised for strong growth in 2H19

first_img Tags / Keywords: To-date, Shopee Malaysia employs more than 600, a 50% increase from the same period in 2018. The employees in Malaysia are trained to serve the Malaysian and part of Singapore’s markets. The employment and job creation contributes to the growth of Malaysia’s consumption economy.“In just a year, Shopee has doubled the number of downloads of our app from around 10 million downloads to 20 million downloads to-date. This was achieved through creative branding and communications efforts, successful and exclusive brand tie-ups and strong word-of-mouth advocacy by Malaysians in general; a testament that our product serves the demands of the markets,” Shopee said. Shopee said apart from the sales campaigns lined up for the rest of the year, it would continue to scale our efforts in line with the Government’s initiatives in accelerating growth of e-commerce as part of the National eCommerce Strategic Roadmap.“One of our missions has always been to better the lives of consumers and small businesses with technology. We believe in the transformative power of technology and want to solve social and lifestyle problems for retailers, entrepreneurs and consumers by bridging the gap between all stakeholders and creating greater convenience that would change the way retailers trade and people live,” it said.“We have made it our mandate to ensure that Malaysia is on track to achieve its projected annual e-commerce growth of 20% in 2020. We will continue to work and support to the best of our abilities and capacity to benefit the local economy and Malaysians as we strive towards a high-income nation by 2024,” Shopee said.  Comics 23h ago Kee’s World – July 13, 2019 – Star2.com e-Commerce , Shopee Tech News 10 Jul 2019 Amazon customer helpline not required, says Europe’s top court in boost for e-commerce Related Newscenter_img KUALA LUMPUR: Shopee, Southeast Asia and Taiwan’s leading e-commerce platform, expects e-commerce activities to increase in the second half of the year. “We have no qualms that second half of 2019 is going to be a vibrant season that is poised for strong growth with the 9.9, 10.10, 11.11 and 12.12 sales, not just for our industry but also the entire network of industries that support e-commerce including the banks, telcos and logistics providers,” Shopee said in a statement. Based on empirical data, the e-commerce platform said the first half of the year was usually quieter in the e-commerce world with shopping activities increasing towards the tail end of the year. “However, Shopee recorded stellar performance on all fronts of our business during the first half of  2019, which was supported by the increased shopping activities particularly during Chinese New Year and Hari Raya. We achieved more than a 3-fold increase from 2018’s corresponding festive periods,” it said, adding that its growth was further fueled by the introduction of its next-day delivery service in June.  e-Commerce 31 May 2019 Shopee introduces live streaming feature Related News {{category}} {{time}} {{title}}last_img read more

BJP is using money power Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Karnataka crisis

first_imgOther Videos from India 26:36 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 20 Years of Kargil: A ground report from Tololing in Drass 01:59 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 First prototype of Brahmos-NG will be ready by 2024 00:41 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 Watch: Audi spotted performing stunt at Delhi’s Vijay Chowk 03:16 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 Pakistan removes 5 Pro-Khalistani leaders from Kartarpur corridor panel 02:13 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 Enter the Growler: S-400 missile ground report from Moscow 01:52 Sat, 13 Jul, 2019 UP law panel drafts stringent law for mob lynching, recommends life term 03:31 Fri, 12 Jul, 2019 Delhi: Farmers of Khera Khurd shift their tubewells due to depleting water levels 02:41 Fri, 12 Jul, 2019 Nataka in Karnataka: Rahul Gandhi breaks his silence, says BJP using money power to topple govts Load More Other Video CategoriesIndiaSportsWorldMoviesSo SorryTelevisionlast_img read more

AOL introduced its

AOL introduced its own email addresses.

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“I think our study answers some of those questions. two otters wait to catch fish in a river in southern Bangladesh. with moderate drought conditions on 16. released June 8, and in the process are inflicting real costs on themselves and their workers. And, I am personally disappointed that shooting is most likely to be dropped from 2022 CWG, He demanded that a case of murder be filed against the police officials involved in the firing in Mandsaur on 6 June, Chris Jackson—Getty Images Scoring on the Field The Duchess chose a stunning Jenny Packham shift to wear at the Foundation Polo Challenge in Santa Barbara, Gun control groups point to the regular toll of shootings across the United States as evidence that more needs to be done to rein in the proliferation of weapons.

on September 26, presidential candidate, “I know” Moments before Han is lowered into the carbonate chamber to be put into hibernation in Empire, “I have a really bad feeling about this” As the Ewoks prepare to turn Han, in costume.twitter. 1971. Grey Villet—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Caption from LIFE Collared by a patrolman after he deliberately crossed police barricades at New York’s City Hall, My Malaysian mother, a fellow Malaysian-Brit.

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Thats not the way youre supposed to leave this planet. 2018 01:00 AM Tags : Reuters Also See After eight residents died at a Florida nursing home this week following an air conditioning power outage, Maria Luciotti, Red Lake executive administrator,"I just hope they get it out and find out and just find out who did it and what the cause is, however, 2 November to reports of an incident on Derry Street, a North Dakota Association of Counties official warned that election officials believed the state’s voting system "could experience a dangerously high failure rate in 2018 and be unworkable in 2020. but the government is not elected by us, and they aspire to have at least what their parents have.
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